Monthly Archives: July 2017

Walking softly in sand

Walking softly in sand

After I took my morning hike up the Green River and the Yampa River, I returned to have a morning camp meal with my wife and then strike the tent and organize our camping gear.

When the sun reached the canyon bottom I suggested that my wife accompany me on a repeat hike up to the Yampa. She agreed and I’m glad she did. The light was much better for photographing the beauty of Steamboat Rock and the Green and Yampa Rivers.

These photos were taken on that "later in the morning hike" up river with my wife.
Keet Seel Road Trip June 2012
Wednesday 30 May 2012 – Sunday 10 June 2012
Mr. & Mrs. "oldmantravels"

ROAD TRIP HIGHLIGHTS: * City of Rocks, Oakley to Almo, Idaho / * Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado portion: hike Harper’s Corner; camp Echo Park; hike Green River and Yampa River confluence; Steamboat Rock/ * Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Colorado/ Funky and hip – Telluride, Colorado / * Lowry Pueblo ruins / * Devil’s Canyon campground: Montezuma Canyon loop drive; Muley Point overlook; Abajo Mountains drive / * Blanding, Utah small town fun: Lickety Split Bakery serendipity and the "cast of characters" / Navajo elder turquoise – Homestead Steak House / Daisy Cowboy at the laundromat / * Navajo National Monument: backpacking trip to Keet Seel cliff dwellings; Hopi National Park Ranger – Patrick Joshevama & his atlatl/ * Return to the Solaas Bed and Breakfast, Baker, Idaho / * Snow on Lost Trail Pass and private plane crash / * Lochsa River rain and rafters / * Clearwater River; the Palouse; and home.


DAY ONE [30 May 2012]

Our ten year old Toyota RAV4 was all packed, gassed up and ready to go on Tuesday night. Our alarm clock was set for 4 am. We were ready and anxious to go, so we were both up and getting ready to go, before the alarm sounded early Wednesday morning.

We drove the Interstates from our home in Eastern Washington to exit 208 off I-84, just north of Burley, Idaho. Our destination for the first night was the City of Rocks, Idaho. We had both visited this remarkable area several times but had never come into it from the West (the Oakley, Idaho approach). We were determined to see something new by entering the City of Rocks through Oakley and then exiting through Almo, Elba, and Malta.

We saw lots of activity with big semi trucks hauling out huge loads of "slab rocks" on flat bed trailers in the area around the old town of Oakley, Idaho. As soon as we returned home I got on the internet to read about these busy rock quarries.

The rock they were hauling out is called "Oakley Stone" and has been quarried in the area since 1948. It is a muscovite mica described as "thin splitting micaceous quartzite". It is unique and much sought after. It slabs out to 8 foot sections just 1/2 inch thick and is used as facing and paving stone in the U.S. and overseas. Seems you always run into something new and interesting on road trip back roads.

I knew the City of Rocks was very popular in the summer with international and local rock climbers, so to we made reservations for our tent camping site. We chose site #37, which I had picked out on my first visit to the City of Rocks, as the place I would one day like to tent camp with my wife. We did.

The weather was excellent for our visit to the City of Rocks and we took short hikes and drives to enjoy the area. We used our old four seasons The North Face Mountain 24 backpacking tent to sleep in with comfy REI camp rest sleeping pads. The winds blew strong and gusting that night so we were happy to have the wind protection and stability of the four season tent. We slept well this first night of our 12 day road trip.

DAY TWO [31 MAY 2012]

We survived the strong winds that blew most of the night. Our camp chairs blew over and got hung up in a juniper tree, but no other problems. The sun came out and the seemingly always present "interesting cloud" formations above the City of Rocks made for great views as we took some more short hikes and drive before heading on to our next destination.

We caught the interstate east of Malta and made our way to Dinosaur, Colorado, where we stopped at the visitor center for Dinosaur National Monument. A ranger, named Randy, was helpful when we asked about the road down to the Echo Park campground and what are chances of finding an open campsite.

My wife and I had visited the dinosaur dig and the Utah portion of Dinosaur National Monument, several times before but neither of us had visited the Colorado section. On a couple of previous trips we had this portion of the monument on the "to visit" list, but weather and/or bad road conditions caused us to skip it.

We saw a lots of wildflowers and sweet smelling clover with yellow blossoms, edged the road to Harper’s Corner. We saw two bull elk in velvet in the sage country where it looked more like pronghorn or mule deer territory. We drove to the trailhead at Harper’s Corner and took the short, but scenic, hike out to the point where you can look down on the Green River as it makes a big hairpin turn around Steamboat Rock. We could spot the road down through Echo Canyon and the pull off to Whispering Cave, all the way from the ridge line trail.

After the hike we left the paved road and thoroughly enjoyed the gravel road drive down to the Echo Park campground. As Randy had told us, there were few people camping, just three other vehicles other than ours. All were tent camping like us.

We set up our The North Face mountain 24 tent under some juniper and cooked dinner on our small JetBoil backpacking stove. I took off with a camera to hike up closer to Steamboat Rock, while my wife relaxed and organized our camp. I followed the Green River upstream and was pleased to find the trail went all the way to where the Yampa River joins the Green River. I hiked a short distance up the Yampa River, enjoying the scenery and wildlife.

Canada Geese were thick along the rivers and their constant honking, whether flying or floating, echoed off the massive walls of Steamboat Rock and the Yampa river canyon. A beaver slapped his tail hard and dove along the banks of the Green River. When he resurfaced and saw I was still there, he repeated his performance with an loud echoing second tail slap and swam down stream.

We sat around a small fire until the stars and bright moon came out, then slept soundly in our tent.

DAY THREE [01 JUNE 2012]

The sun came out and the day started warming up quickly as the day’s first light started working its way down the canyon walls to the rivers. My wife and I repeated the hike up the Green River and Yampa River together so I could photograph with the warm morning light now lighting up the landscape. Echo Park was a big favorite of ours, and we hope to return one day.

We next headed through Grand Junction, Colorado and on to Montrose, Colorado where we got a motel room. There was still plenty of daylight left so we drove up to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River from the south rim drive. We hadn’t visited the canyon before so it was another "first" for us on this road trip.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River was difficult to photograph for me, but a spectacular sight, well worth the visit. We returned to Montrose for a good night’s sleep in a motel room.

DAY FOUR [02 JUNE 2012]

From Montrose, Colorado we headed for Telluride, Colorado (one story has it that the name is actually a form of "to hell you ride"… from its lively western history days. Once again, this was a place we had never visited. Ironically, I had purchased a used book titled: "Telluride – from pick to powder by Richard L. and Suzanne Fetter" back in February and had enjoyed reading of the interesting history of Telluride.

I was especially captivated by the story of the story of L.L.Nunn, a short, most eccentric, genius – – who set Telluride up with the first A/C (alternating current generator) in the world in the late 1890s. Like other Colorado gold mining towns Tulluride had its shares of labor unrest, floods, fires, and unique characters.

The town itself was a hoot, just what you might expect of a mining town turned jet set to down and outs digs…a bit of everything for everybody. We drove up to the end of town to see one of the waterfalls electric generating sites; then up above town to see the million dollar "ranch houses" and the unique high altitude runway where our youngest son has flown into before when he was with a charter jet company out of Arizona.

But for pure enjoyment, you couldn’t beat walking up and down the main street of old town Telluride and people watching: Harley Davidson’s; horse drawn tourist wagons; home made cars; bicycles; a bunch of bins with "everything is for free" sign on it; the clock with "Telluride Time" on it; BMW cars and motorcycles; dogs carrying Frisbees and wearing colorful bandanas; and of course the many "Western want to be" tourists that looked more like tourists than cowboys and cowgirls.

Nice friendly, funky, quirky, soup to nuts, town to visit. We even bought my wife a red fuzzy baseball hat with Telluride, Colorado printed on the front. Had to do our thing for tourism you know.

After leaving Telluride we headed down to Dolores, Colorado (ate a great pizza here) and made our way toward Monticello, Utah. Somewhere around Dove Creek, Colorado, we made a short side trip to check out the Lowry Ruins, once again, a place we had not visited before. In the past we had always cut through to visit Hovenweep.

At Monticello we turned south and set up our North Face tent at spot # 29 in Devil’s Canyon Campground. We reserved the spot for two nights to use it as a "base camp" for a few of the drives we wanted to take in the area. We were concerned with a couple wild fires we could see on the southern flanks of the Abajo Mountains, but there were no high winds during our visit and the fires diminished while we were there.

Carrying our senior citizen passes with us, camping continued to be a real bargain for us. We paid $4 to camp at Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument and just $5 a night for a well maintained campsite at Devil’s Canyon. We walked the short nature loop trail and then all around the campground area as we settled in for our first night at this camp.

DAY FIVE [03 JUNE 2012]

Montezuma’s Canyon was on our list to drive for this trip, so that is where we headed the first thing Sunday morning. We drove it north to south. It was about a 50 mile loop when entered near Monticello and exited near Blanding, Utah.

We found the first 20 miles of the drive beautiful, interesting and enjoyable. Slow paced, with ancient and modern cliff dwellings, a few rock art panels and picturesque Southwest canyon country scenery. The second half of the drive was a bit more "pedestrian" and not so scenic.

When we rejoined the highway south of Blanding we headed south to Bluff, for a quick look at the Sand Island rock art panel; Navajo stew and fry bread at the San Juan River bridge near Mexican Hat (where I had eaten several times before). Then we drove up the Moki Dugway route to Cedar Mesa and took another short side trip. This one was to Muley Point, where we enjoyed the slick rock rim and tremendous landscape views.

We returned to our Devil’s canyon camp for a rest and camp meal, then drove up into the scenic high country of the Abajo Mountains just west of Monticello. Everything was green and some of the fragrant purple wild iris were in bloom among the tall large aspen groves in this area. Old Wrangler and I had tried this route for the other direction in March of 2011 and were turned back by deep snow on the road. This drive was snow free and scenic. We watched an old time reel in a foot long rainbow trout in one of the small ponds of the area.

Toward the end of the day we returned to camp; read our books; and got a good night’s sleep with a strong almost full moon, lighting up the interior of our tent with a soft evening’s glow.

DAY SIX [04 JUNE 2012]

We woke early, broke camp, took a short hike through the ponderosa in the area, then headed for Blanding where we checked into a motel room for a couple of nights. We used this day to rest, do our road trip laundry, shop for a few supplies for our upcoming Keet Seel backpacking trip and mainly relax. This was the only day that I didn’t take at least one photograph.

One of our first stops was the local bakery in Blanding. My wife and I ended up talking to the owners (Arlen and Elaine Borgen) and then ordering four cherry scones to be picked up the following morning. I planned to take a couple on our backpacking trip but do to their fine flavor and taste, only one survived for the Keet Seel hike.

As it turned out, the conversations we had with folks at this small town bakery turned out to be one of the highlights of our road trip. Serendipity squared.

When we did our laundry at Blanding, the only other person using the washers and dryers was an older Navajo lady. Several times she offered advice about which machines to use or how to get a stubborn machine working properly (or how tourists, like us, could profit by reading the directions….hmmm).

As she did her laundry and we did ours we gradually visited more and more. Her name was "Daisy Cowboy" and she had some interesting stories to tell. It was one of those chance small town encounters that make a road trip so much fun.

DAY SEVEN [05 JUNE 2012]

My wife went into the bakery and Blanding and there was Elaine with her bright red jaunty baker’s hat on with a friendly smile and a "good morning". "By chance would you have four cherry scones hot out of the oven this morning?". "Sure do" she replied. Once I bought the scones then my wife talked with Elaine, while I started a conversation with Arlen, who was seated having a cup of coffee.

The conversations joined and parted among the four of us and the two young Navajo girls working with Elaine, who also had the red baker’s hats. At times all four of us talked together about the history of the bakery:

From memory: Started about 7 years ago. Young Navajo kids one day asked to borrow money to go to the local movie house in Blanding. Arlen & Elaine instead let them "earn" the movie money by learning to be "partners" in the bakery. The rest is a success story. The young Navajo came up with ideas for chocolate and candy products with a Native American theme. The Borgens taught the Navajo business principles and the responsibilities that come with them.

The state of Utah caught the story and a delegation of the Blanding Bakery entrepreneurs visited the capitol in Salt Lake City. Word spread further and the founding members were invited to the White House to meet President Bush, where they were honored for their dedication to entrepreneurial start up businesses. Quite a trip for these hard working innovative bakers and candy makers from Blanding, Utah. That is the main story as I heard it. There are photos on the wall; the young smiling Navajo workers/owners; and friendly manner of Elaine and Arlen to fill in the rest.

Arlen and I drifted into Native American discussions and were having a focused discussion on books, findings, theories, and ruins…when a fellow walked through the door by the name of Jon Moris (Professor "emeritus" Jon Moris ) walked into the bakery and was greeted as a regular. Professor Moris is the anthropology teacher at the local Utah State University – College of Eastern Utah – San Juan campus (I hope I have most of that right).

Arlen introduced me to Professor Moris and away we went, talking about anything and everything about North American Native Americans. What a stroke of luck for me. Jon Moris, was a most interesting man to talk to. We took a break while my wife and I returned to our nearby motel room with the bakery goods and I returned with a camera and a strong wish to continue our previous conversations.

So there we were: Professor Jon Moris; Arlen Borgen; and I, sitting around a coffee table playing badminton with topics of interest. Elaine and the two cute Navajo girls (Elysia and Aaliyah sp?) took care of the flow of bakery customers coming into the store. Was I ever having fun.

Jon Moris was born and raised in East Africa. He did work with the Maasai there and earned his PhD at Northwestern. He told me of a website where photographers could go to have "books" made of their photograph: He said his son Nathan (living in Switzerland) had used the site. When I returned home I went to the "" site and checked out one of the photo books Nathan had created of Central Switzerland (which he dedicated to his dad).

Next the bakery door opened and in walked a casually attired Mark Noirot, a chemistry instructor at the college. With a quick wit and inquisitive mind, he soon added to our ad hoc bakery based discussion group. During all this action I asked for a few photo ops, which everybody there graciously agreed to and participated in. The two young Navajo girls took some of the photographs for us.

After Jon and Mark escaped the round table discussion a family entered the bakery. They wanted to buy some bakery products but spoke no English. Turned out they were Italian and with my limited Spanish, we were able to work together and communicate enough to help them buy what they were after. They also followed my lead when I told them I was purchasing two candy feathers from the young Navajos, which came with a printed story.

Call it luck, serendipity or chance – – this short session around a small coffee table in a bakery in Blanding, Utah, was one of my treasured moments of this road trip. I truly hope that any of you traveling through Blanding some morning, will stop in and hear the story of the bakery first hand and treat yourself to some baked products and some of the chocolate and candy products of the Lickity Split Chocolate entrepreneurs. You will go away with a smile.

Once back in our motel room with my wife, we started organizing our backpacks, based on the latest weather forecast (we used Shonto, Arizona for Keet Seel purposes) and latest food purchases. We packed our backpacks and most of our car camping and traveling gear in our vehicle and set the alarm for 4 am (once again). We planned to leave by 5 am Wednesday morning to make certain we arrived at Betatakin (Navajo National Monument) in time for our required orientation, scheduled at 8:15 am on 6.6.12.

DAY EIGHT [06 JUNE 2012]

Up at 4 am; on the road by 4:45 am; breakfast at McDonald’s in Kayenta then on to the visitor center at Betatakin. There were lots of campers at Sunrise View campgrounds near Betatakin, and lots of folks showed up at the visitor center when it opened at 8 am. We tried to discern the "day hikers" from the "backpackers", who might be going to Keet Seel.

Note: Only 20 people a day are allowed to hike to Keet Seel and then only five at a time can tour the Keet Seel ruins in the company of an on-site National Park ranger. The route, 1,000 feet down into Tsegi Canyon then up Keet Seel Canyon to the Keet Seel camping area and Keet Seel cliff dwellings is 8.5 miles. It requires quite a bit of soft sand hiking and many crossing of a shallow stream, which flows down Keet Seel Canyon. The route is on Navajo land so you aren’t allowed to stray from the main route.

Well to make this short and sweet – – the weather Wednesday morning was beautiful AND it turns out that each and every "hiker" we saw that morning at the visitor center was heading out on the guided Betatakin ruins hike. We were told we were the only two people with a permit for Keet Seel this day. What luck! We would have the entire campground to ourselves and not have another hiker or backpacker in the canyon with us on this particular Wednesday. We were told to check in at the "ranger’s camp" at Keet Seel when we arrived, show our permit, and that ranger Patrick would lead us on a tour of the Keet Seel site.

It took us exactly five hours to hike from where we left our vehicle and the Keet Seel parking area to Keet Seel. We took one 30 minute break on the way in and cached beverages in two places along the way: We cached 88 fl. oz at the foot of the 1,000 drop into Tsegi Canyon and 88 fl oz about five miles from Keet Seel. The rest we drank along the way and took with us (we started with 336 fl. oz in total). A little under three gallons, which for us worked out just perfectly with plenty left over.

We took 16 bottles of diet Mt. Dew (orange juice based with lots of caffeine); 4 bottles of citrus green tea (20 oz bottles); 4 bottles of water (10 oz with Mio pomegranate flavor to add); AND two treats – – 2 cans of cold diet Pepsi in OR insulated beverage carriers. The two caches met I didn’t have to carry the 20 lbs of liquids all that far.

We encountered two small groups of Navajo horses and one solo horse on the hike. Each and every horse was intently curious of our presence and watched us with interest as we passed by. The foals were cute as a button.

You can’t drink the water in the canyon as the area is range for Navajo cattle and horses, and the National Park four wheel drive trucks drive quite a ways up Keet Seel Canyon from time to time as well. Still the scenery and waterfalls make for a very enjoyable backpack. We kept our backpack loads extremely light (no stakes, footprint, or rain fly for the REI quarter dome T2 plus tent – – zero chance of rain predicted for 7 days). Everything else we kept to a minimum as well. I did take a light REI flashpack 18 liter day pack to carry cameras, fluids and first aid kit etc. for my wife and myself, when we left our tent camp and hiked the short distance to the Keet Seel ranger’s quarters and then on to the cliff dwellings themselves, with Patrick.

My wife and I met ranger Patrick at his octagonal ranger’s quarter, a short distance from the Keet Seel Ruins. It struck me as a bit ironic. Max (A Navajo) had given us our orientation and permit to visit Keet Seel. The Anasazi (Ancient Puebloans) are now thought to be related to the Hopi and Zuni – – modern day pueblo dwellers in some cases. Patrick is a Hopi, from a small reservation perched primarily atop three mesas on a reservation completely surrounded by the massive Navajo reservation.

Patrick was soft spoken, extremely knowledgeable, patient, modest, and instantly likeable.
An antler tool, a home made large arrow, and what looked like a "prayer stick" sat on a bench where we sat all drinking ice tea. When I asked about the prayer stick, Patrick quietly told me it was an atlatl. Though he didn’t say so, it was obvious that Patrick had carefully and skillfully made both the arrow and the atlatl.

He showed me how it was held then stood up and launched an arrow at high speed out toward the "Keet Seel" sign in front of the ranger’s station. My wife and I were really impressed. He went in the hogan and brought out three more finally feathered arrows and asked me if I would like to try the atlatl. I was intrigued, honored and a little nervous (I didn’t want to destroy one of his hand made arrows with a clumsy effort.

With Robert’s instruction I got the feel of how to hold the atlatl and the arrow, then the moment came for me to launch an arrow. I did. It flew fast straight and far and I can’t possibly tell you how proud I was and how happy it made me that Patrick trusted me to give it a try.

As at the Blanding bakery, Patrick and I explored many topics and talked books, studies, and former expeditions. I was most interested in Patrick’s stories of the Hopi clans, beliefs, and oral history. It was another road trip highlight and just the visit with Patrick and the chance to actually give an atlatl a try. Moments to remember.

After a long porch conversation we were ready to head up to the Keet Seel ruins. I had shown my wife a photo of the access ladder used to reach the ruins themselves, so she knew what to expect, still I could tell she was a bit apprehensive, but up the ladder she went, right after Patrick and I had gone up first. She did well.

It is simple to find lots of information on the Keet Seel cliff dwellings, so I won’t go into too much detail: Tree ring dating indicates that what we see today of the well preserved ruins were made and inhabited before year 950. Around 1272 population, pottery diversification, and use of Keet Seel was at a high. Over 100 people called this cliff dwelling "home" at this time. Then like other dwellings all over the Southwest, the people left. They stored belongings like they intended to come back one day BUT they also burned many of their rooms, for what reason, nobody knows for certain.

Few, if any, remained living at Keet Seel by 1300. Many building styles and techniques (jacal and masonry) can be observed at Keet Seel. It is the ‘beyond obvious function" high ladder ends reaching up high inside the alcove and the HUGE log mounted across the main central entrance to the ruins, that most impressed me.

When we finished the tour we checked out the midden down below the cliff dwellings where every color and style of pottery pieces you can imagine, could be found and observed. There is evidence that much trading took place at sites like Keet Seel (Macaw feather were found here) and that pottery had been traded and sometimes destroyed intentionally during certain ceremonies. In all a fascinating place to visit, reflect upon, and connect with a people that made the most of their environment for a time in the past.

We left Patrick and returned to our camp across the canyon floor. An almost full moon lit the night, and the wind blew softly through the canopy of oak limbs and leaves over our tent. This was the first time we had used our new Big Agnes Q Core air mattresses and I can’t tell you how much we both enjoyed these excellent sleeping pad air mattresses. They weigh about the same as our thin, narrow, long self-inflators but pack up into very small stuff sacks.

NOTE: I have read of some having difficulty BUT first squash all the air out; fold lengthwise into thirds; force the rest of the air out as you roll it up and it will easily fit in the strong small stuff sack provided. I promise.

We talked into the night, gazing at the stars above and discussing our good fortune on this road trip and with life in general. We both fell asleep with smiles.

DAY NINE [07 JUNE 2012]

I woke up early after a good night’s rest. I wanted to get going early so we could hike the canyon in the shaded cool of morning and attack the 1,000 climb up out of Tsegi Canyon before the full heat of the afternoon.

We got a good start and took exactly five hours to hike from our Keet Seel camp to our vehicle (with its ice chest full of ice cold diet Pepsi). I had found (by accident) some quick sand in the shade of a canyon wall on the way into Keet Seel, so we made a point of stopping at the same place for an oldmantravels photo op on the way out. It was a weird experience to have the sand that seemed dry, below your feet turn suddenly to Jell-O, then start to crack and sink.

Hiking out Keet Seel we passed at least 8 other backpackers, heading into Keet Seel. We also passed a National Park pickup truck driving up the stream bed, presumably to rotate another ranger in to take Patrick’s place and/or take in some supplies.

We had intended that our backpacking experience to Keet Seel would be the highlight of our road trip …. and……it was. We both had a wonderful time (and got some good exercise in the process).

We drove back through Mexican Hat, Blanding, and then to Moab (where like after our April Chesler park backpacking trip) we had a HUGE meal and a mango/peach smoothie and Denny’s). We drove on to Green River, Utah where we took long hot showers, changed into fresh road trip clothes, and enjoyed a night’s sleep at a motel there.

DAY TEN [08 JUNE 2012]

We slept in at Green River, Utah then headed up through Price, Ogden, Pocatello, and then on a less traveled road to Tendoy, Idaho and then to the Solaas Bed and Breakfast in Baker, Idaho. It is located under huge cottonwoods near the Lemhi River.

Just south of Tendoy a white tail doe ran without warning from the willows along the road. I was doing 65 mph and everything happened fast. At first I started to break but then sped up and swerved to the right hoping if I hit her at all it would be better to side swipe her than hit her head on. She lost her footing and fell, narrowly missing the rear quarter fender of our car. Through the rear view mirror I saw her regain her feet on the shoulder and bound into the woods. We were very relieved that things hadn’t ended badly for both the deer and for us. A close call, and fortunately the only one of this road trip.

In 2006 I took a road trip with a good high school friend (John). We visited Lemhi Pass and hiked a section of trail that Lewis and Clark had taken. Lemhi Pass is where they had crossed the continental divide heading west and where Sacagawea fortuitously recognized her brother as the leader of the band of Shoshone, who intercepted the Lewis and Clark company near this place. John and I had "found" a B & B (Solaas Bed and Breakfast) on that trip and I really liked the owners (Roger and Sharon Solaas):

William Least Heat Moon, the author of Blue Highways had stayed with Roger and Sharon and his stay is mentioned in that book.

When John and I left Roger and Sharon in June of 2006, I told them I would return one day and I would have my wife with me. So, six years later, almost to the day, a promise kept. Roger and Sharon had a pushy, smart, clever, conniving cat, who tried his best to ingratiate himself to us. Actually I think he wanted us to: 1) let him in the old double story farm house for the night and 2) take him home with us.

Sharon allowed that number one wasn’t allowed BUT we were welcome to take the spoiled, troublesome feline home with us if we wanted. We declined. In reality I think the cat is grudgingly loved, admired and appreciated by both Roger and Sharon, but at least Sharon won’t own up to that.

We had an upstairs room with some of Sharon’s beloved hand made quilts on the beds and a great view of the Lemhi Mountains to the east of us. Another good night’s sleep.


My wife had been a great sport on this entire road trip; car camping in a backpacking tent; taking short hikes; and especially for taking the 17 mile round backpacking trip into Keet Seel and back. Cliff dwelling are after all, of more interest to me than her…so…I wanted to surprise her.

I told her we would travel through Salmon; over Lost Trail Pass; then over Lolo Pass and down to the Clearwater River casino and hotel near Lewiston, Idaho. There we would spend the last night of our road trip in a nice room and she could play her beloved, penny slot machines. She was elated. So off we went.

As we left Salmon and started out climb up Lost Trail Pass I noticed it getting much cooler, and pretty soon there was fresh snow beside the highway. It seems so incongruous having just traveled many miles with the A/C on the car switched on. As we topped Lost Trail Pass and started down the other side, I had to blink twice as I saw a vehicle in the ditch, on the right hand side of the road. Only it was a vehicle. It was a private airplane.

It was damaged but not badly. I pulled over to take a photograph just as a state patrolman pulled up to the scene and started walking up the highway. Behind him was another official car with a man in an FAA jacket.

I read when I got home that it had only the pilot aboard and he wasn’t injured. His story about a "down draft" and forced landing sounded a bit unusual to me. I’m guessing that the snow and low cloud visibility caused a "can’t turn around problem" when flying VFR in suddenly IFR conditions. The internet article said that the "incident" was being investigated.

After passing the scene we saw a U.S. Forest Service vehicle heading to the same scene, so all interested parties will be able to compare notes.

We had off and on rain all the way over Lolo Pass and enjoyed watching the rafters, kayakers, and catarafts float by on the Lochsa River. The water was high and fast moving, and they all seemed to be enjoying the experience even though it was raining.

I had a buffalo burger and split some curly fries with my wife at a road side Farmer’s market. We felt sorry for the vendors, who had set up there, as they were closing up early. Too much rain for many visitors.

We got our room for the night at the Clearwater River Casino and my wife got her time attending the "investment" opportunities as the penny slot machines. I bought a carry out pizza and cinnamon sticks to bring back to our room, and I enjoyed reading and watching the Mariners on high definition TV. A good time was had by all.


Drove home through the lovely Palouse country of Eastern Washington.

I hope you enjoy some of the photographs that go with this road trip photo set. I hope they bring good memories to those of you who have visited the places we did and that perhaps somebody out there in flickrland is motivated to visit a place they haven’t been as a result of the photos. Thanks for stopping by. OMT 11 June 2012.

Posted by oldmantravels on 2012-06-14 19:55:54

Tagged: , Dinosaur National Monument , Green River , Yampa River , Steamboat Rock , Colorado section of Dinosaur National Monument

Myanmar – Life At Inle Lake – Tofu Processing – 1bb

Myanmar - Life At Inle Lake - Tofu Processing - 1bb

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is a component in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Tofu is bought or made to be soft, firm, or extra firm. Tofu has a subtle flavor and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.

Tofu originated in Han dynasty China some 2,000 years ago.[5] Chinese legend ascribes its invention to prince Liu An (179–122 BC). Tofu and its production technique were introduced into Korea and then Japan during the Nara period (710–794). Some scholars believe tofu arrived in Vietnam during the 10th and 11th century. It spread into other parts of Southeast Asia as well. This spread probably coincided with the spread of Buddhism because it is an important source of protein in the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddhism. Li Shizhen in the Ming Dynasty described a method of making tofu in the Compendium of Materia Medica.

Tofu has a low calorie count and relatively large amounts of protein. It is high in iron, and depending on the coagulants used in manufacturing (e.g. calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate), it can have higher calcium or magnesium content.

The term tofu by extension can be used in similarly textured curdled dishes that do not use soy products at all, such as "almond tofu" (almond jelly), tamago-dōfu (ja) (egg), goma-dōfu (ja) (sesame), or peanut tofu (Chinese 落花生豆腐 luòhuāshēng dòufu and Okinawan jīmāmi-dōfu (ja)).

The English term comes from Japanese tōfu (豆腐), borrowed from the original Chinese equivalent (豆腐 or 荳腐) transcribed tou4-fu3 (Wade-Giles) or dòufu (pinyin), literally "bean" (豆) + "curdled" or "fermented" (腐).

A reference to the word "towfu" exists in a letter dated 1770 from English merchant James Flint to United States statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin. This is believed to be the first documented usage of the word in English.

The term "bean curd(s)" for tofu has been used in the United States since at least 1840. It is not frequently used, however, in the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand.

Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds. Although pre-made soy milk may be used, some tofu producers begin by making their own soy milk, which is produced by soaking, grinding, boiling and straining dried (or, less commonly, fresh) soybeans.

Coagulation of the protein and oil (emulsion) suspended in the boiled soy milk is the most important step in the production of tofu. This process is accomplished with the aid of coagulants. Two types of coagulants (salts and acids) are used commercially.

Calcium sulfate (gypsum): The traditional and most widely used coagulant to produce Chinese-style tofu. It produces a tofu that is tender but slightly brittle in texture. The coagulant itself has no perceivable taste. Use of this coagulant also makes a tofu that is rich in calcium. As such, many tofu manufacturers choose to use this coagulant to be able to market their tofu as a good source of dietary calcium.

Chloride-type Nigari salts or Lushui ( Traditional: 鹵水, 滷水; Simplified: 卤水, lǔshuǐ) – Magnesium chloride and calcium chloride: Both of these salts have a high solubility in water and affect soy protein in the same way, whereas gypsum is only very slightly soluble in water and acts differently in soy protein precipitation, the basis for tofu formation. These are the coagulants used to make tofu with a smooth and tender texture. In Japan, a white powder called nigari, which consists primarily of magnesium chloride, is produced from seawater after the sodium chloride is removed and the water evaporated. Depending on its production method, nigari/Lushui may also contain small quantities of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), potassium chloride, calcium chloride, and trace amounts of other naturally occurring salts. Although the term nigari is derived from nigai, the Japanese word for "bitter," neither nigari nor pure magnesium chloride imparts a perceivable taste to the finished tofu. Calcium chloride is a common coagulant for tofu in North America. Fresh clean sea water itself can also be used as a coagulant.

Glucono delta-lactone (GDL): A naturally occurring organic acid also used in cheese making, which produces a very fine textured tofu that is almost jelly-like. This coagulant is used especially for "silken" and softer tofus, and confers an almost imperceptible sour taste to the finished product. Commonly used together with calcium sulfate to give soft tofu a smooth tender texture.
Other edible acids: Though they can affect the taste of the tofu more, and vary in efficacy and texture, acids such as acetic acid (vinegar) and citric acid (such as lemon juice), can also be used to coagulate soy milk and produce tofu.

Among enzymes that have been shown to produce tofu are papain, and alkaline and neutral proteases from microorganisms. In the case of papain, the enzyme to substrate ratio, by weight, was held constant at 1:400. An aliquot of 1% crude papain was added to "uncooked" soy milk at room temperature and heated to 90–100 °C. Papain, moreover, has been studied as a gelling agent to produce "instant tofu" from soy protein isolate and soy glycinin (11S) protein.

Contemporary tofu manufacturers may choose to use one or more of these coagulants, since they each play a role in producing a desired texture in the finished tofu.Different textures result from different pore sizes and other microscopic features in tofus produced using each coagulant. The coagulant mixture is dissolved into water, and the solution is then stirred into boiled soy milk until the mixture curdles into a soft gel.

The curds are processed differently depending on the form of tofu that is being manufactured. For soft silken tofu (嫩豆腐; nèn dòufu) or tofu flower (豆花, dòuhuā) the soy milk is curdled directly in the tofu’s selling package. For standard firm Asian tofu, the soy curd is cut and strained of excess liquid using cheese cloth or muslin and then lightly pressed to produce a soft cake. Firmer tofus, such as Asian dry tofu (豆干) or Western types of tofu, are further pressed to remove even more liquid. In Vietnam, the curd is strained and molded in a square mold and the end product is called đậu khuôn (molded bean) or đậu phụ (one of the Vietnamese ways to pronounce the Chinese dòufu). The tofu curds are allowed to cool and become firm. The finished tofu can then be cut into pieces, flavored or further processed.

Although tartness is sometimes desired in dessert tofu, the acid used in flavoring is usually not the primary coagulant since it is not desirable to the flavor or texture of the resulting tofu to add it in a sufficiently high concentration so as to induce coagulation. A sour taste in tofu and a slight cloudiness in its storing liquid is also usually an indication of bacterial growth and, hence, spoilage.

There is a wide variety of tofu available in both Western and Eastern markets. Despite the large variety, tofu products can be split into two main categories: fresh tofu, which is produced directly from soy milk, and processed tofu, which is produced from fresh tofu. Tofu production also creates important side products which are often used in various cuisines.

Depending on the amount of water that is extracted from the tofu curds, fresh tofu can be divided into three main varieties. Fresh tofu is usually sold completely immersed in water to maintain its moisture content.

Soft/silken tofu (嫩豆腐 or 滑豆腐, nèn dòufu or huá dòufu, in Chinese, lit. "soft tofu" or "smooth tofu"; 絹漉し豆腐, kinugoshi tōfu in Japanese, lit. "silk-filtered tofu"; 순두부, 純豆腐, sundubu in Korean, lit. "pure tofu") is undrained, unpressed tofu that contains the highest moisture content of all fresh tofus. Silken tofu is produced by coagulating soy milk without curdling it. Silken tofu is available in several consistencies, including "soft" and "firm", but all silken tofu is more delicate than regular firm tofu (pressed tofu) and has different culinary uses. In Japan and Korea, traditional soft tofu is made with seawater. Silken tofu is a versatile, reliable substitute for dairy and eggs, especially for smoothies and baked desserts.

Douhua (豆花, dòuhuā or 豆腐花, dòufuhuā in Chinese), or tofu brain (豆腐腦 or 豆腐脑, dòufunaǒ in Chinese) is often eaten as a dessert, but sometimes salty pickles or hot sauce are added instead. This is a type of soft tofu with an even higher moisture content. Because it is very difficult to pick up with chopsticks, it is generally eaten with a spoon. With the addition of flavorings such as finely chopped spring onions, dried shrimp, soy sauce, chilli sauce, douhua is a popular breakfast dish across China. In Malaysia, douhua is usually served warm with white or dark (palm) sugar syrup, or served cold with longans.

Some variation exists among soft tofus. Black douhua (黑豆花, hēidòuhuā) is a type of silken tofu made from black soybeans, which is usually made into dòuhuā (豆花) rather than firm or dry tofu. The texture of black bean tofu is slightly more gelatinous than regular douhua and the color is greyish in tone. This type of tofu is eaten for the earthy "black bean taste." Edamame tofu is a Japanese variety of kinugoshi tōfu made from edamame (fresh green soybeans); it is pale green in color and often studded with whole edamame.

Firm tofu (called 老豆腐 lǎo dòufu in Chinese; 木綿豆腐, momen-dōfu in Japanese, lit. "cotton tofu"; 단단한두부, dandanhan dubu in Korean): Although drained and pressed, this form of fresh tofu still contains a great amount of moisture. It has the firmness of raw meat but bounces back readily when pressed. The texture of the inside of the tofu is similar to that of a firm custard. The skin of this form of tofu has the pattern of the muslin used to drain it and is slightly more resilient to damage than its inside. It can be picked up easily with chopsticks.

In some places in Japan, a very firm type of momen-dōfu is eaten, called ishi-dōfu (石豆腐; literally stone tofu) in parts of Ishikawa, or iwa-dōfu (岩豆腐; literally rock tofu) in Gokayama in the Toyama prefecture and in Iya in the prefecture of Tokushima. Due to their firmness, some of these types of tofu can be tied by rope and carried.[citation needed] These types of firm tofu are produced with seawater instead of nigari (magnesium chloride), or using concentrated soy milk. Some of them are squeezed of excess moisture using heavy weights. These products are produced in areas where travelling is inconvenient, such as remote islands, mountain villages, heavy snowfall areas, and so on.

Dòu gān (豆干, literally "dry tofu" in Chinese) is an extra firm variety of tofu where a large amount of liquid has been pressed out of the tofu. Dòu gān contains the least amount of moisture of all fresh tofu and has the firmness of fully cooked meat and a somewhat rubbery feel similar to that of paneer. When sliced thinly, this tofu can be crumbled easily. The skin of this form of tofu has the pattern of the muslin used to drain and press it. Western firm tofu is milled and reformed after the pressing and sometimes lacks the skin with its cloth patterning. One variety of dried tofu is pressed especially flat and sliced into long strings with a cross section smaller than 2 mm × 2 mm. Shredded dried tofu (豆干絲, dòugānsī in Chinese, or simply 干絲, gānsī), which looks like loose cooked noodles, can be served cold, stir-fried, or similar in style to Japanese aburaage.

Many forms of processed tofu exist, due to the varied ways in which fresh tofu can be used. Some of these techniques probably[citation needed] originate from the need to preserve tofu before the days of refrigeration, or to increase its shelf life and longevity. Other production techniques are employed to create tofus with unique textures and flavors.

Pickled tofu (豆腐乳 in Chinese, pinyin: dòufurǔ, lit. "tofu dairy," or 腐乳 fŭrŭ; chao in Vietnamese): Also called "preserved tofu" or "fermented tofu," this food consists of cubes of dried tofu that have been allowed to fully air-dry under hay and slowly ferment from aerial bacteria. The dry fermented tofu is then soaked in salt water, Chinese wine, vinegar, and minced chiles, or a unique mixture of whole rice, bean paste, and soybeans. In the case of red pickled tofu (紅豆腐乳 in Chinese, Pinyin: hóng dòufurǔ), red yeast rice (cultivated with Monascus purpureus) is added for color. And in Japan, pickled tofu with miso paste is called "tofu no misodzuke," which is a traditional preserved food in Kumamoto. In Okinawa, there is a pickled and fermented tofu called "tofuyo"(豆腐餻). It is made from "Shima-doufu" (an Okinawan variety of large and firm tofu). It is fermented, and matured with koji mold, red koji mold, and awamori.

Stinky tofu (臭豆腐 in Chinese, Pinyin: chòudòufu): A soft tofu that has been fermented in a unique vegetable and fish brine. The blocks of tofu smell strongly of certain pungent cheeses, and are described by many as rotten and fecal.[citation needed] Despite its strong odor, the flavor and texture of stinky tofu is appreciated by aficionados, who describe it as delightful. The texture of this tofu is similar to the soft Asian tofu from which it is made. The rind that stinky tofu develops from frying is said to be especially crisp, and is usually served with soy sauce, sweet sauce, or hot sauce.

Two kinds of dried tofu are produced in Japan. They are usually rehydrated (by being soaked in water) prior to consumption. In their dehydrated state they do not require refrigeration.

With the exception of the softest tofus, all forms of tofu can be fried. Thin and soft varieties of tofu are deep fried in oil until they are light and airy in their core 豆泡 dòupào, 豆腐泡 dòufupào, 油豆腐 yóudòufu, or 豆卜 dòubǔ in Chinese, literally "bean bubble," describing the shape of the fried tofu as a bubble).
Tofus such as firm Asian and dòu gān (Chinese dry tofu), with their lower moisture content, are cut into bite-sized cubes or triangles and deep fried until they develop a golden-brown, crispy surface (炸豆腐 in Chinese, zhádòufu, lit. "fried tofu"). These may be eaten on their own or with a light sauce, or further cooked in liquids; they are also added to hot pot dishes or included as part of the vegetarian dish called luohan zhai. This deep fried tofu is also called Atsuage (厚揚げ) or Namaage (生揚げ) in Japan. The thinner variety is called Aburaage (油揚げ) which develops a tofu pouch when fried that is often used for Inari-sushi.

Thousand layer tofu (千葉豆腐, 凍豆腐 dòngdòufu or 冰豆腐 bīngdòufu in Chinese, literally "thousand layer tofu" or "frozen tofu"): By freezing tofu, the large ice crystals that develop within the tofu result in the formation of large cavities that appear to be layered. The frozen tofu takes on a yellowish hue in the freezing process. Thousand layer tofu is commonly made at home from Asian soft tofu though it is also commercially sold as a specialty in parts of Taiwan. This tofu is defrosted, and sometimes pressed to remove moisture, prior to use.

Koya-dofu (kōya-dōfu, 高野豆腐 in Japanese): The name comes from Mount Koya, a center of Japanese Buddhism famed for its shōjin ryōri, or traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. It is sold in freeze-dried blocks or cubes in Japanese markets. Since it is dried, it can be preserved for long term. It must be soaked in water before eating, and is typically simmered in dashi, sake or mirin and soy sauce. In shōjin ryōri, vegetarian kombu dashi, made from seaweed, is used. When prepared in the usual manner, it has a spongy texture and mild sweet and savory flavor (the taste and flavor depend on what soup or cooking stock it was simmered in). A similar form of freeze-dried tofu, in smaller pieces, is found in instant soups (such as miso soup), in which the toppings are freeze-dried and stored in sealed pouches.

Tofu production creates some edible byproducts. Food products are made from the protein-oil film, or "skin," which forms over the surface of boiling soy milk in an open shallow pan. The leftover solids from pressing soy milk are called okara.

Tofu skin is produced through the boiling of soy milk, in an open shallow pan, thus producing a film or skin composed primarily of a soy protein-lipid complex on the liquid surface. The films are collected and dried into yellowish sheets known as soy milk skin (腐皮, fǔpí in Chinese; 湯葉, yuba in Japanese). Its approximate composition is : 50–55% protein, 24–26% lipids (fat), 12% carbohydrate, 3% ash, and 9% moisture.

The skin can also be bunched up to stick form and dried into something known as "tofu bamboo" (腐竹, fǔ zhú in Chinese; phù trúc in Vietnamese; kusatake, Japanese), or myriad other forms. Since tofu skin has a soft yet rubbery texture, it is folded or shaped into different forms and cooked further to imitate meat in vegan cuisine.

Some factories dedicate production to tofu skin and other soy membrane products.

Okara (from the Japanese, おから, okara; known as 雪花菜, xuěhuācài, in Chinese, lit. "snowflake vegetable"; 豆腐渣, dòufuzhā, also Chinese, lit. "tofu sediment/residue"; and 콩비지, kongbiji, in Korean), is a tofu by-product, sometimes known in the west as "soy pulp" or "tofu lees",[40] consisting of the fiber, protein, and starch left over when soy milk has been extracted from ground soaked soybeans. Although it is mainly used as animal feed in most tofu producing cultures, it is sometimes used in Japanese and Korean cuisines, such as in the Korean stew kongbiji jjigae (콩비지찌개). It is also an ingredient for vegetarian burgers produced in many western nations.

Due to their Asian origins and their textures, many food items are called "tofu" even though their production processes are not technically similar. For instance, many sweet almond tofus are actually gelatinous desserts hardened using agar or gelatin. As well, some foods such as Burmese tofu are not coagulated from the "milk" of the legume but rather set in a manner similar to soft polenta, Korean muk, or the jidou liangfen of Yunnan province of Southwest China.

The "almond tofu" (Chinese: 杏仁豆腐 xìngrén dòufu; Japanese: annindōfu) is a milky white and gelatinous resembling tofu, but does not use soy products or soy milk and is hardened with agar. A similar dessert made with coconut milk or mango juices might occasionally be referred to as "coconut tofu" or "mango tofu", though such names are also given to hot dishes that use soy tofu and coconut or mango in the recipe.

Egg tofu (ja) (Japanese: 玉子豆腐, 卵豆腐, tamagodōfu) (Chinese: 蛋豆腐, dàn dòufu; often called 日本豆腐, rìbĕn dòufu, lit. "Japan bean curd") is the main type of savory flavored tofu. Whole beaten eggs are combined with dashi, poured into molds, and steamed in a steamer (cf. chawanmushi). The tofu has a pale golden color that can be attributed to the addition of egg and, occasionally, food coloring. This tofu has a fuller texture and flavor than silken tofu, which can be attributed to the presence of egg fat and protein. Plain "dried tofu" can be flavored by stewing in soysauce (滷) to make soy-sauce tofu. It is quite common to see tofu sold in market in this soy-sauce stewed form.

The goma-dōfu (ja) is made by grinding sesame into a smooth paste, combining with liquid and kudzu starch, and heating until curdling occurs. It is often served chilled as hiyayakko.

In Okinawa, Japan, the jīmāmi-dōfu (ja) is made in a process similar to the sesame tofu. A peanut milk (made by crushing raw peanuts, adding water and straining) is combined with starch (usually sweet potato starch known locally as umukuji or umukashi (芋澱粉?)) and heating until curdling occurs.

The Chinese equivalent is the 落花生豆腐 luòhuāshēng dòufu.

Burmese tofu (to hpu in Burmese) is a type of legume product made from besan (chana dal) flour; the Shan variety uses yellow split pea flour instead. Both types are yellow in color and generally found only in Myanmar, though the Burman variety is also available in some overseas restaurants serving Burmese cuisine.

Burmese tofu may be fried as fritters cut in rectangular or triangular shapes. Rice tofu, called hsan to hpu (or hsan ta hpo in Shan regions) is made from rice flour (called hsan hmont or mont hmont) and is white in color, with the same consistency as yellow Burmese tofu when set. It is eaten as a salad in the same manner as yellow tofu.

Tofu has very little flavor or smell on its own. Consequently, tofu can be prepared either in savory or sweet dishes, acting as a bland background for presenting the flavors of the other ingredients used. As a method of flavoring it is often marinated in soy sauce, chilis, sesame oil, etc.

In Asian cooking, tofu is eaten in myriad ways, including raw, stewed, stir-fried, in soup, cooked in sauce, or stuffed with fillings. The idea of using tofu as a meat substitute is not common in East Asia. Many Chinese tofu dishes such as jiācháng dòufu (家常豆腐) and mápó dòufú (麻婆豆腐) include meat.

In Japan, a common lunch in the summer months is hiyayakko (冷奴), silken or firm Asian tofu served with freshly grated ginger, green onions, or katsuobushi shavings with soy sauce. In the winter, tofu is frequently eaten as "yudofu," which is simmered in a claypot with some vegetables (ex:chinese cabbage, green onion etc.) using konbu dashi.

In Chinese cuisine, Dòuhuā (豆花) is served with toppings such as boiled peanuts, azuki beans, cooked oatmeal, tapioca, mung beans and a syrup flavored with ginger or almond. During the summer, "dòuhuā" is served with crushed ice; in the winter, it is served warm.[43] And also, in many parts of China, fresh tofu is similarly eaten with soy sauce or further flavored with katsuobushi shavings, century eggs (皮蛋 pídàn), and sesame seed oil.

In Korean cuisine, dubu gui (두부구이) consists of pan fried cubes of firm tofu, seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, and other ingredients. Cubes of cold, uncooked firm tofu seasoned with soy sauce, scallions, and ginger, prepared in a manner similar to the Japanese hiyayakko, are also enjoyed. The popular bar food, or anju (안주), called dubu kimchi (두부김치), features boiled, firm tofu served in rectangular slices around the edges of a plate with pan fried, sautéed or freshly mixed kimchi (김치) in the middle.

In the Philippines, the sweet delicacy taho is made of fresh tofu with brown sugar syrup and sago. The Malaysian version of taho or douhua is called tofufa. Warm soft tofu is served in "slices" (due to being scooped using a flat spoon from a wooden bucket) in a bowl with either pandan-flavored sugar syrup or palm sugar syrup.

In Vietnam, dòuhuā is pronounced đậu hủ. This variety of soft tofu is made and carried around in an earthenware jar. It is served by being scooped into a bowl with a very shallow and flat spoon, and eaten with either powdered sugar and lime juice or with a ginger-flavored syrup. It is generally eaten hot, even during summer.

A common cooking technique in many parts of East and Southeast Asia involves deep frying tofu in vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil with varied results. In Indonesia, it is usually fried in palm oil. Although tofu is often sold preprocessed into fried items, pre-fried tofu is seldom eaten directly and requires additional cooking. Depending on the type of tofu used, the texture of deep fried tofu may range from crispy on the outside and custardy on the inside, to puffed up like a plain doughnut. The former is usually eaten plain in Chinese cuisine with garlic soy sauce, while the latter is either stuffed with fish paste to make Yong Tau Foo or cooked in soups. In Taiwan, fried tofu is made into a dish called "A-gei", which consists of a fried aburage tofu package stuffed with noodles and capped with surimi.

In Japan, cubes of lightly coated and fried tofu topped with a kombu dashi-based sauce are called agedashi-dofu (揚げ出し豆腐). Soft tofu that has been thinly sliced and deep fried, known as aburage in Japan and yubu (유부) in Korea, is commonly blanched, seasoned with soy sauce and mirin and served in dishes such as kitsune udon. Aburage is sometimes also cut open to form a pocket and stuffed with sushi rice; this dish is called inarizushi (稲荷寿司) and is also popular in Korea, where it is called yubu chobap (유부초밥). In Indonesia, tofu is called tahu, and the popular fried tofu is tahu goreng, tahu isi and tahu sumedang.

A spicy Sichuan preparation using firm Asian tofu is mápó dòufu (麻婆豆腐). This involves braised tofu in a beef, chili, and a fermented bean paste sauce. A vegetarian version is known as málà dòufu (麻辣豆腐)[citation needed].

Dried tofu is usually not eaten raw but first stewed in a mixture of soy sauce and spices.[citation needed] Some types of dried tofu are pre-seasoned with special blends of spices, so that the tofu may either be called "five spice tofu" (五香豆腐 wǔxiāng dòufu) or "soy sauce stewed tofu" (鹵水豆腐 lǔshuǐ dòufu). Dried tofu is typically served thinly sliced with chopped green onions or with slices of meat for added flavor. Most dried tofu is sold after it has been fried or pre-stewed by tofu vendors.

Soft tofu can also be broken up or mashed and mixed with raw ingredients prior to being cooked. For example, Japanese ganmodoki is a mixture of chopped vegetables and mashed tofu. The mixture is bound together with starch and deep fried. Chinese families sometimes make a steamed meatloaf or meatball dish from equal parts of coarsely mashed tofu and ground pork. In India, tofu is also used as a low fat replacement for paneer providing the same texture with similar taste.

Tofu bamboos are often used in lamb stew or in a dessert soup. Tofu skins are often used as wrappers in dim sum. Freeze-dried tofu and frozen tofu are rehydrated and enjoyed in savory soups. These products are often taken along on camping trips since a small bag of these dried tofu can provide protein for many days.

Japanese ‘miso soup’, stocks with miso paste, is frequently made with tofu.

In Korean cuisine, soft tofu, called sundubu (순두부), is used to make a thick stew called sundubu jjigae (순두부 찌개). Firm, diced tofu often features in the staple stews doenjang jjigae (된장 찌개) and kimchi jjigae (김치

At Qufu, the home town of Confucius, smoked tofu is a popular dish.

Bacem is a method of cooking tofu originating from Java, Indonesia. The tofu is boiled in coconut water, mixed with lengkuas (galangal), Indonesian bay leaves, coriander, shallot, garlic, tamarind and palm sugar. After the spicy coconut water has completely evaporated, the tofu is fried until it is golden brown. The result is sweet, spicy, and crisp. This cooked tofu variant is commonly known as tahu bacem in Indonesian. Tahu bacem is commonly prepared along with tempeh and chicken.

Pickled tofu is commonly used in small amounts together with its soaking liquid to flavor stir-fried or braised vegetable dishes (particularly leafy green vegetables like water spinach). It is often eaten directly as a condiment with rice or congee.

Generally, the firmer styles of tofu are used for kebabs, mock meats, and dishes requiring a consistency that holds together, while the softer styles can be used for desserts, soups, shakes, and sauces.

Firm western tofus can be barbecued since they will hold together on a barbecue grill. These types of tofu are usually marinated overnight as the marinade does not easily penetrate the entire block of tofu (techniques to increase penetration of marinades are stabbing repeatedly with a fork or freezing and thawing prior to marinating). Grated firm western tofu is sometimes used in conjunction with TVP as a meat substitute. Softer tofus are sometimes used as a dairy-free or low-calorie filler. Silken tofu may be used to replace cheese in certain dishes (such as lasagna).

Tofu has also been fused into other cuisines in the west, for instance used in Indian-style curries.

Tofu and soy protein can be industrially processed to match the textures and flavors to the likes of cheese, pudding, eggs, bacon, etc. Tofu’s texture can also be altered by freezing, pureeing, and cooking. In the Americas, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, tofu is frequently associated with vegetarianism and veganism as it is a source of non-animal protein.

The most commonly held of the three theories of tofu’s origin maintains that tofu was invented in northern China around 164 BC by Lord Liu An, a Han Dynasty prince. Although this is possible, the paucity of concrete information about this period makes it difficult to conclusively determine whether Liu An invented the method for making tofu. Furthermore, in Chinese history, important inventions were often attributed to important leaders and figures of the time. In 1960, a stone mural unearthed from an Eastern Han dynasty tomb provided support for the theory of Han origin of tofu, however some scholars maintained that the tofu in Han dynasty was rudimentary, and lacked the firmness and taste of real tofu.

Another theory states that the production method for tofu was discovered accidentally when a slurry of boiled, ground soybeans was mixed with impure sea salt. Such sea salt would probably have contained calcium and magnesium salts, allowing the soy mixture to curdle and produce a tofu-like gel. This may have possibly been the way that tofu was discovered, since soy milk has been eaten as a savory soup in ancient as well as modern times. Its technical plausibility notwithstanding, there is little evidence to prove or disprove that tofu production originated in this way.

The last group of theories maintains that the ancient Chinese learned the method for the curdling of soy milk by emulating the milk curdling techniques of the Mongolians or East Indians. For, despite their advancement, no technology or knowledge of culturing and processing milk products existed within ancient Chinese society. (They did not seek such technology, probably because of the Confucian taboo on fermented dairy products and other so-called "barbarian foodstuffs".) The primary evidence for this theory lies with the etymological similarity between the Chinese term for Mongolian fermented milk (rufu, which literally means "milk curdled") and the term doufu ("beans curdled") or tofu. Although intriguing and possible, there is no evidence to substantiate this theory beyond the point of academic speculation.

Tofu originated in ancient China,[5] although little else is known about the exact historic origins of tofu and of its method of production.

The theory that tofu was invented by Lord Liu An of Huainan in about 164 BC (early Han dynasty) has steadily lost favor among most scholars in China and abroad since the 1970s. The claim concerning Liu An was first made by Zhu Xi during the Song dynasty (960-1127 AD) – roughly 1,000 years after the supposed invention.

The theory that tofu-making is shown in a mural incised on a stone slab in Han Tomb No. 1, at Da-hu-ting, Mixian, Henan province attracted much attention after about 1990. Yet it too has lost favor because (1) no step of cooking the soy puree is shown in the mural, and (2) when Chinese food historians tried to make tofu without cooking the puree, the result was a tiny amount of unpalatable material.

Thus, while there are many theories regarding tofu’s origins, historical information is scarce enough as to relegate the status of most theories to either speculation or legend. Like the origins of cheese and butter, the exact origin of tofu production may never be known or proven. The historical era starts in the year 965 AD (early Song dynasty) with the Qing Yilu by Tao Ku.

What is known is that tofu production is an ancient technique. Tofu was widely consumed in ancient China, and techniques for its production and preparation were eventually spread to many other parts of Asia.

Its development likely preceded Liu An, as tofu is known to have been a commonly produced and consumed food item in China by the 2nd century BC. Although the varieties of tofu produced in ancient times may not have been identical to those of today, descriptions from writings and poetry of the Song and Yuan Dynasty show that the production technique for tofu had already been standardized by then, to the extent that they would be similar to tofu of contemporary times.

In China, tofu is traditionally used as a food offering when visiting the graves of deceased relatives. It is claimed that the spirits (or ghosts) have long lost their chins and jaws, and that only tofu is soft enough for them to eat. Before refrigeration was available in China, tofu was often only sold during the winter time, due to the tofu not spoiling in the colder weather. During the warmer months, any leftover tofu would be spoiled if left for more than a day. Chinese war hero Guan Yu used to be a tofu maker before he enlisted in the army. Chinese martial arts expert and hero, Yim Wing-chun, was a celebrated tofu maker in her village. (Tofu as such plays a part in the 1994 movie about her life, Wing Chun.)

Tofu and its production technique were subsequently introduced into Korea and then Japan in the Nara period (late 8th century) as well as other parts of East Asia. The earliest document of tofu in Japan shows that the dish was served as an offering at the Kasuga Shrine in Nara in 1183. The book Tofu Hyakuchin (豆腐百珍 Dòufu Bǎizhēn), published in the Edo period, lists 100 recipes for cooking tofu.

The rise in acceptance of tofu likely coincided with that of Buddhism as it is an important source of proteins in the religion’s vegetarian diet. Since then, tofu has become a staple in many countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea, with subtle regional variations in production methods, texture, flavor, and usage.

In Southeast Asia, tofu was introduced to the region by Chinese immigrants from sea-faring Fujian province, evident from the fact that many countries in Southeast Asia refer to tofu by the Min Nan Chinese pronunciations for either soft and firm tofu, or "tāu-hū" and "tāu-goan" respectively. In Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, tofu is widely available and used in many local dishes. Tofu is called tahu in Indonesia, Indonesian dishes such as, tahu sumbat, taoge tahu, asinan, siomay and some curries, are often add slices of tofu as ingredients. In addition, tahu goreng, tahu isi and tahu sumedang are the popular fried tofu snacks. Tofu is called tauhu in Malaysia and Singapore. The Malaysian and Singaporean Indians use tofu in their cuisine such as Indian mee goreng, rojak pasembor. The strait peranakan cuisine often uses tofu, such as mee kari Penang, and laksa. The makers of tofu in these countries were originally the Chinese but tofu now is made by non-Chinese as well. Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines are major producers of tofu and have plants located within many municipalities. However, Singapore imports its tofu from its neighboring country, Malaysia.

Tofu in the Philippines is essential to the daily diet, as taho, widely eaten as breakfast, or tokwa (a dry fried variation), which is a staple or alternative to meat in main meals, and in numerous regional dishes. Tofu was introduced to the archipelago in the 10th to 13th centuries by Song Chinese mariners and merchants, along with many different foods which had become staples of the Philippine diet. The use and production of tofu were first limited to urban centers with influential Chinese minorities, such as Cebu or Tondo, but were quickly spread to even remote native villages and islands, long before the Spanish arrival in the 17th century.

Benjamin Franklin was the first American to mention tofu in a 1770 letter to John Bartram. Franklin, who discovered it during a trip to London, included a few soybeans and referred to it as "cheese" from China. The first tofu company in the United States was established in 1878. In 1908 Li Yuying, a Chinese anarchist and a vegetarian with a French degree in agriculture and biology, opened a soy factory, the Usine de la Caséo-Sojaïne, which was the world’s first soy dairy and the first factory in France to manufacture and sell beancurd. However tofu was not well known to most Westerners before the middle of the 20th century. With increased cultural contact between the West and East Asia and growing interest in vegetarianism, knowledge of tofu has become widespread. Numerous types of pre-flavored tofu can be found in many supermarket chains throughout the West. It is also used by many vegans and vegetarians as a means to gain protein without the consumption of meat products.

Tofu is considered a cool agent in Traditional Chinese medicine. It is claimed to invigorate the spleen, replenish qi, moisture and cool off Yang vacuity, and to detoxify the body. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting neither such claims, nor their implied notions.

In Chinese traditional medicine, tofu is suitable for those who are weak, malnourished, deficient in blood and qi; is suitable for old, slim or otherwise; suitable for those with high fat content in blood, high cholesterol, overweight, and with hardened blood vessels; suitable for people with diabetes; for mothers with low breast milk supply; for children and young adults; for those with inflamed respiratory tract, with phlegm, coughing and asthma. Tofu is also suited for people of old age; it is recommended to eat with liquor, since tofu contains cysteine, which can speed up the detoxification of alcohol in the body, and lessen the harm done to the liver, protecting the liver.

Tofu is relatively high in protein, about 10.7% for firm tofu and 5.3% for soft "silken" tofu with about 5% and 2% fat respectively as a percentage of weight.

In 1995, a report from the University of Kentucky, financed by Solae, concluded that soy protein is correlated with significant decreases in serum cholesterol, Low Density Lipoprotein LDL (″bad cholesterol″) and triglyceride concentrations. However, High Density Lipoprotein HDL (″good cholesterol″) did not increase. Soy phytoestrogens (isoflavones: genistein and daidzein) absorbed onto the soy protein were suggested as the agent reducing serum cholesterol levels. On the basis of this research, PTI, in 1998, filed a petition with Food and Drug Administration for a health claim that soy protein may reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

The FDA granted this health claim for soy: "25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." For reference, 100 grams of firm tofu coagulated with calcium sulfate contains 8.19 grams of soy protein. In January 2006, an American Heart Association review (in the journal Circulation) of a decade-long study of soy protein benefits showed only a minimal decrease in cholesterol levels, but it compared favorably against animal protein sources.

Because it is made of soy, individuals with allergies, particularly those allergic to legumes, should not consume tofu.


Posted by asienman on 2017-06-29 15:49:51

Tagged: , Myanmar , Inle Lake , Tofu Processing , asienman-photography , asienman-photoart

Sandwich with carrots and milk

Sandwich with carrots and milk

MyPlate offers easy ideas for making healthy foods festive and fun.

Posted by USDAgov on 2014-12-18 14:25:46

Tagged: , , CNPP , cooking , FNS , Food and Nutrition , kids , MyPlate , Nutrition , Recipes , family , winter , food groups



cooking pancake with berry and jam in pan on white wooden background , ingredients for making flat lay

Posted by lyule4ik on 2017-07-17 11:58:19

Tagged: , background , cuisine , food , homemade , milk , rustic , table , traditional , white , top , view , bakery , baking , butter , culinary , dough , flour , ingredients , kitchen , menu , organic , pancake , pastry , preparation , recipe , rural , tools , utensils , concept , copy , domestic , egg , making , many , space , wooden , cooking , eggs , sugar , vintage , wood , honey , russian , among , berry , blini , bliny , breakfast , close-up , cup

Fennel Flavored Chicken Curry 2

Fennel Flavored Chicken Curry 2…

Posted by Soma.R on 2013-05-08 18:25:47

Tagged: , authentic chicken curry , bangalir murgi , bengali chicken curry , bengali jhol , Cardamom , chicken currry with gravy , chicken curry from home , chicken curry in a hurry , chicken curry indian , chicken curry indian blog , chicken curry recipe , chicken curry sauce , chicken curry with exotic flavors , chicken curry with fennel , chicken curry with jhol , chicken with tomato & onion , Cinnamon , Clove , comfort food , cooking chicken curry , cooking chicken in pressure cooker , cooking in pressure cooker , cooking indian chicken curry , curried chicken , curry chicken , curry gravy , curry sauce , curry with gravy , east indian chicken curry , east indian recipe , easy chicken curry , fennel chicken , fennel flavored curry , fennel seeds , flavorful chicken curry , Garlic , gluten free , how to cook chicken curry , how to make chicken curry , indian blog , Indian chicken curry , indian chicken curry in pressure cooker , indian chicken curry recipe , indian chicken curry with gravy , indian curry , indian curry in pressure cooker , indian curry recipe , indian food blog , jhol , mangsho with mouri , mouri chicken , mouri diye chicken , mouri diye murgi , murgi jhol , onion , poultry indian recipe , pressure cooker chicken , pressure cooker curry , saunf , saunf in chicken curry , simple chicken curry , simple curry recipe , simple indian chicken curry , simple indian chicken curry recipe , spiced poultry , spicy chicken curry , sunday lunch chicken curry , traditional indian recipe , weekend chicken curry , wheat free

Texas – Driftwood: The Salt Lick BBQ

Texas - Driftwood: The Salt Lick BBQ

The Salt Lick BBQ, at , was opened in 1969 by Thurman Roberts, Sr. and his wife, Hisako T. Roberts. Two years earlier, Roberts had cleared area on his family’s land in Driftwood and build a barbecue pit, which is still in use today, from locally quarried limestone. They born built a little screen porch around the pit, and a restaurant was formed. It quickly grew in popularity and went from being open just a few times a year to seven days a week. Today, under owner Scott Roberts, Thurman’s son, The Salt Lick seats over 800 people and on an average Saturday, feeds around 2,000.

The Salt Lick offers brisket, sausage, pork ribs, turkey, and (deviating from Thurman’s tradition) chicken cooked "cowboy style"–seared and then slow cooked in a pit over direct heat from live heavy Texas oak. The meat is basted in a sweet tomato-less barbecue sauce that is inspired by Hisako’s Hawaiian heritage and otherwise antithetical to most Texas BB and finished with the smoke from pecan wood. Briskets are cooked 20-24 hours and and pork ribs 2.5-3 hours, and the beef and pork sausages are smoked for 3 hours followed by 45 minutes of direct heat. Over the course of a year, The Salt Lick cooks over 750,000 pounds of brisket, 350,000 pounds of pork ribs, and 200,000 pounds of sausage.

Salt Lick Cellars was started in 2006 by Scott Roberts with 35 acres of rape varieties including empranillo, Mourvedre, Syrah and Granache. The first bottle of Tempranillo was bottled and available to wine enthusiasts in late 2008. A tasting room was added in 2009.

Posted by wallyg on 2012-10-07 03:05:24

Tagged: , The Salt Lick , The Salt Lick BBQ , Salt Lick , Salt Lick BBQ , Hays County , Salt lick cellars , TexasBBQ , restaurant , Driftwood , Texas , TX , sign

25th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off, Sparks Nevada

25th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off, Sparks Nevada

BourbonQ shirts.
The BEST BBQ Rib competition west of the Mississippi at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget Csino Resort. Can’t grill it Till you Kill it, I love animals they taste good.

….and the winners are :
First place: Famous Dave’s BBQ from Plymouth, MN, $7,500
Second place: Texas Outlaw BBQ, from Elizabethtown, KY, $3,000

Third place: Kinder’s Custom Meats, from Concord, CA, $2,000

Fourth Place: Porky ‘N’ Beans, from Port St. Lucie, FL, $1,000

Fifth Place: Desperado BBQ & Rib Co, from Hinckley, OH, $500

People’s Choice Award: Chicago BBQ Company, from Burr Ridge, IL, the winner of last year’s Rib Cook-Off.

Best Sauce: Porky-N-Beans, $500

Rib eating contest:
Joey Chestnut won the 8th Annual Nugget World Rib-Eating Championship by eating 13.7 pounds of ribs in 12 minutes for a new world record

Posted by ATOMIC Hot Links on 2013-09-19 21:59:02

Tagged: , RIBS , GRILLIN , GRILLING , GRILL , SMOKE , SMOKER , BEEF RIBS , HOT LINKS , HOT RODS , PORK RIBS , BBQ , Barbecue , competition , prize , winner , Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off , hot , good tasty , wicked , wicked good , Reno , Sparks , Nevada , food , low & slow , meat , PETA People Eating Tasty Animals , peta , RED MEAT , FAT , JUICY , MEATY , BRISKET , BURNT ENDS , RIB TIPS , BONES , sauce , awesome , tri tip , pulled pork , I want my baby back , baby back , GET IN MY BELLY , BABY BACK RIBS , St. Louis Ribs , Spare Ribs , Buns , 25th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off , Sparks Nevada , can’t Grill it Till you Kill it , I love animals they taste good



Our classic Salkantay Trek is an alternative to the traditional Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The Sacred path is a cutting edge experience for adventure travelers looking for a little more privacy and authenticity. With more spectacular views, the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu offer a quiet and rich contemplation of Nature.

– Transfers In / Out
– Transportation Cusco-Mollepata. (Start walking)
– Professional bilingual tour guide English /Spanish.
– Assistant tour guide (for groups of 9 or more people)
– Entrance Fee to Machu Picchu.
– 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 afternoon snacks, 6 dinners. ” Vegetarian (vegan) food on request at no extra cost!
– Cook. (Professional)
– Drinking water along the Inka trail, only on meal times.
– Dining tent with tables and chairs
– 1st Aid Kit
– 01 Oxygen Ball
– Horses (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
– Horse men
– Porters (to carry tents, food and cooking equipment)
– Quadruple & waterproof Camping tent “02 people only”
– 01 Sleeping Mattress per person
– Return train tickets in Expedition Service (Machupicchu – Ollantaytambo and bus to Cusco) transfer to Hotel.

View complete details of tour at Salcantay Trek and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 7 days

Posted by Salcantay Trek on 2017-07-06 21:30:28

Tagged: , Salcantay Trek , Salcantay Trail , Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu , Salkantay Trek , Salcantay Pass , Humantay Lake , Soraypampa , Wiñayhuayna , Sayaqmarka

My Third Turkey

My Third Turkey

Only the third turkey I’ve cooked, and it was delicious!

Posted by pattie74_99 on 2007-04-19 02:01:26

Tagged: , thanksgiving , 2006 , turkey , family , cooking